Generations of care

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Generations of care
The Roulston/Gargiulo/Fuller family have caring in their blood.

Three generations have either taken up a position or plan on doing so at Bendigo Health.

It all began when Kate Fuller saw her father go through his own health battle, and she knew nursing was the career path for her.

“He got really sick while I was studying and he told me it was something I should keep going with because I was good at it,” Kate said.

“He died while I was studying and I guess that was a good insight for me to understand what (nursing) might be.

“It was obviously a very sad time, but going through that experience as his daughter made me realise it was something I wanted to do as a career.”

After completing her graduate year at Bendigo Health and a 12-month stint in Melbourne, she came back home where she’s stayed ever since.

“I came back because my family was here, my mum grew up here, it was a family town,” Kate said.

Kate went from being a registered nurse in the emergency department (ED) to post-graduate studies in critical care, a clinical nurse consultant in charge of education in ED, the ED nurse unit manager (NUM) and director of nursing two and a half years ago.

“Once I started in ED here I knew that’s where I wanted to be and that’s where I stayed.

“I love ED nursing because there’s something new every day and you always have job satisfaction when you leave.”

Kate has two daughters, Maddi and Audrey Gargiulo, who both have plans to follow in their mum’s footsteps – in their own ways.

Maddi studied allied health in her later years of high school, which was a good set up for her role as a Health Service Assistant and her current work in Bendigo Health ED.

Now a second year nursing student at La Trobe University, she always knew that was her career path too.

“I’ve always liked the idea of the job,” Maddi said.

“There’s so many different options within the job, so that pulled me towards it too.”

And while there were often stories shared across the dinner table from Kate, neither Maddi nor Audrey were put off the profession.

While she only just finished high school last year, Audrey plans to loosely follow her mother into nursing, but not in the same stream.

“I work in disability services now and have always had an interest in the human connection side of nursing, but I would love to do cosmetic nursing.”

“I think it’s a very up and coming part of the industry, it’s way more popular than it was 10 years ago,” she said.

The caring apples clearly don’t fall far from the tree as Kate’s mum Lyn Roulston volunteers at Bendigo Health

“I have been the carer for my mum for a long time and when she was at a point where she was unable to live at home and went into care, I needed something to do,” Lyn said.

“All of my babies were born at Bendigo Base, I’d spent a lot of time (at Bendigo Health) with my husband and during my own breast cancer treatments.

“I liked helping people and being at the hospital so volunteering felt like the right step.”

For all four members of the family, it comes back to their connections with the organisation and others.

“There’s so many people we all know and everyone knows you, we have so many lasting relationships here,” Kate said.

“You have so much job satisfaction and that allows you to achieve good things and feel like you’re having an impact.

“And as patients ourselves at one point or another, you know the care you’re going to get will be the best.”